Varanasi, June 12(ANI): Devotees in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, observed fast on Sunday to celebrate the Hindu festival, Nirjala Ekadasi.
Nirajala Ekadasi is one of the most popular and toughest 'Ekadasi' fasting days, as people even abstain from consuming water. It is dedicated to Hindu lord Vishnu.
"On the day of Nirjala Ekadasi, devotees from all over the country visit Rajendra Prasad ghat (in Varanasi). Thousands of devotees carry kalash filled with pure holy waters from all over the country. They would offer the holy water in Kashi Viswanath Temple (a famous temple in Varanasi)," said Sudama Tiwari, a devotee
"This year holy waters from Chitrakoot Dham (a place in Uttar Pradesh), river Bagmati of Nepal and from other important rivers of the country have been brought, which would be consecrated," he added.
Legend goes the way that the second brother of Pandavas wanted to fast on Ekadasi, but still ate food. So, sage Vyas advised him to observe Nirjala Ekadasi fasting, which falls during shukla paksha in Jyeshtha month (third month of a traditional Hindu calendar).
Nirjala refers to 'without water'; hence on this day staunch Vishnu devotees who undertake this fast do not drink water or eat food for the day.
"Today, we are observing this fast for those who are hungry, unhappy and thirsty in India as well as in the world. So, with this medium (by observing this fast), we will provide water and food so that peace, harmony and prosperity prevails in the country," said Dharmasheel Chaturvedi, a devotee.
The observation of vows on this day has references in the Mahabharata, which says that Bhima observed fast on this day.
The fast begins on ekadasi sunrise and ends on dwadasi (next day) sunrise. (ANI)